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Care Review: How wonder and rigour can enable our communities to turn despair into hope.

5 Feb 2021

“When it comes to prevention, the lockdown has clearly shown, that across our communities, business sector and local authorities there is a huge amount of creativity and commitment that is willing to step up and support those in need. Much of this has been powered by creative use of social media. Neighbours who had never really spoken now belong to community WhatsApp and Facebook groups, where they seek to support each other. As the government’s own levelling up agenda suggests, this local knowledge and creativity is a huge asset. If we can build on this goodwill and mobilise it to support families, children and young people it could be a real force for good. In doing so, we will be showing what many people already know, it takes a village to raise a child.”

“Could we imagine a system of support for at risk and care experienced children which sought to draw much more strongly on these principles. Where we relooked at the skills and experiences that you need to support vulnerable and isolated young people. Could we imagine, having groups of inspiring, creative, entrepreneurial staff who can easily build relationships with young people, network across business and communities and build partnerships. Might workers like this, offer that spark that young people often need, to see beyond the immediate and turn despair into hope”

“At Leicestershire cares, we believe, that creativity, agility, kindness and empathy are the heart and soul of being able to develop, deliver and adapt effective services. In her book “The creativity leap” Natalie Nixon, set out how humans are hard wired to be creative. Inquiry, improvisation and intuition are the building blocks that lead to creativity and these are competencies that can be learnt. Her definition of creativity is the ability to toggle between two different capacities — wonder and rigor. Wonder is the ability to be awed and “ask big audacious questions, and rigor is the realm of “discipline, practice, skill, and honing your technique by spending lots of time on tasks.” Creativity requires analytical rigor, according to Nixon, “and analysis requires a capacity for wonder.”

“Surely, we all owe it to our children to look at the care system with wonder and rigor, putting aside, “egos, silos and logos” in the knowledge that none of us have all the answers but all of us have the answers. If we can strive to do this whilst, ensuring the best interest of the child and not our organisations are paramount, then I am confident we can offer our children and young people a far brighter future.”

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